If you’re new to online dating or even a seasoned pro, picking the right dating website for you can be confusing. Should you pay? Does free online dating sites mean no one’s serious? It is difficult and above dating sites, I still recommend starting the dating process in person (from first meeting, to asking out on date, to first date, etc) because a bit of romance is killed when you meet someone online and then they have to match your expectations of their profile to real life. Which, can be disappointing and almost impossible to predict the outcome, although online dating CAN work for people and I know personally real life stories that resulted in long relationships and marriage.
Through my experience, both literally with using dating sites and through literature that I’ve read on the topic, I have a lot of opinions on which dating sites to use and how to use them.
First, what are your expectations? Are you looking to find the love of your life or are you out to see what fish are in the dating pond? Are you looking for a hook-up or are you really looking for something real?
Remember that this is one of the ways to meet new women. Don’t give up meeting women in person, but online dating can expand your dating pool and if you’re rusty on going out on a first date, will help you get more experience in meeting women.
There are paying and non-paying websites to use and apps. They can change a lot. People will say that paying for an online dating site means you’re serious into finding a relationship. With that kind of mindset, it is tempting to go for a paying online dating service like EHarmony, Match.com and HowAboutWe.com. I remember signing up for EHarmony.com and got rejected as one of the few percent they couldn’t match, so I can’t tell you how they work (hah!) but I’m kind of glad I didn’t use their website (think you rejected me? Well I reject you :P ). I think if you want to try a paying online dating site, don’t pay more than for 3 months. The unfortunate thing is that there are a lot of “dummy” profiles. Meaning, people sign up for a free profile then never sign back on, or stories of fake profiles being promoted that people don’t even use anymore. These are to tempt you into thinking there are lots of fish in the sea, but sometimes there’s not as many active users as you would like.
There are active users on these sites, and generally, yes, they’re more serious into finding a relationship since they’re paying. BUT, since you’re paying doesn’t mean you’re getting a better experience than a non-paying site. Because you can go on a lot of dates from a non-paying site and the plus- you don’t have to pay!
So, again, try Match.com and HowABoutWe and other paying online dating sites if you’re very serious about finding someone special, but also remember if you’re not successful in finding people who answer back to your messages or even if you do find a date, it’s not always better than non-paying sites.
Non-paying sites I’ve used are OkCupid and PlentyOfFish. I actually know people who’ve had long term relationships (and are still dating!) from these sites. So, saying non-paying sites that people aren’t serious isn’t true. It’s just that in addition to serious applicants, you have to sift through a lot of other people who are looking to hook up. So, hey, if you’re looking for a rebounding, sad person, they’re abound here! But seriously, you wouldn’t believe how many guys just wanted a f*** buddy on OkCupid because they JUST broke up with their long-term girlfriends and (in every SINGLE case) she was crazy and they were heartbroken. So, they didn’t want to touch a “serious relationship” with a ten-foot pole.
Now that I got that out of me, phew! There are a lot of people who are looking for something serious and DO use non-paying dating sites. Try different sites and the cool thing with a lot of these dating sites is their phone apps. There’s location-based apps, which I think everyone should try, where you can just meet someone right away for a date who’s close by you.
The good thing about dating location apps, is if you by-pass the process of judging someone by their profile, you can find out right away if the person you’re talking to, really click in person. And the Number One reason why I advocate for meeting people in real life as opposed to online is that you can’t know if you have chemistry with a person until you meet them face to face. So, you could chat with messages until the cows come home, you can chat on the phone, scrutinize their profiles, but it means NOTHING until you’ve met in person. They could be totally witty in their messages and then clam up once you meet in person.
So, don’t judge TOO harshly on pictures and profiles and don’t worry so much about having the perfect profile. Keep your profile short and sweet. Keep things 2-3 sentences for each section. Don’t write a novel, but also don’t write, “Um, I dunno how to describe myself…” You need to put in some effort and describe yourself, but also know that a profile really doesn’t mean anything until you meet someone in person. You can’t recreate chemistry online. So, the faster you meet someone in person, the faster you know if there’s any chemistry between you two. Also, be mindful that you don’t want to rush a girl to meet in person too. Talking for two-three days with consistant messaging every day is a natural timeframe to ask someone out for coffee.
So, you got your online profile, make sure that your pictures show your face, don’t hide your identity. When you do ask someone out for a date, keep the date short, happy hour drinks, coffee, etc. If you’re REALLY digging the girl, ask her out for dinner. The nice thing about a dinner date is that you have time to really get to know each other. Although it’s tough when you’ve never met in person before, so I say pull out this card if you really have a feeling it’ll work out well between you two.
I never officially counted how many first online dates I’ve been on. I want to say around 30. Yeah, I know, that’s a LOT of first dates. And out of those dates, I’d say about three of them lasted for 2-4 dates. There are some people who meet their “one” right away, so everyone is different. Why was my 1st date success so low? Why wasn’t I getting a second date, but most importantly, why did I refuse a second date?
Don’t call me entirely picky. Women are labeled picky, but in our defense, we have to be, amIright? But seriously, women have to filter out the bad guys to get a good one. I’d have to say the majority of these first dates that didn’t work out, was because there was no chemistry. Sometimes on my end, and sometimes on their end. I’ve had a range of experiences to a guy wanting a one night stand (no… that’s not what I was looking for…) and one that ended dinner early because he couldn’t get away from me fast enough (and I didn’t care for him either, so whatever!).
After so many dates, you can’t get so offended if someone doesn’t like you. There’s a variety of reasons why things work out and why they don’t, but you can’t get hung up over it. Everyone is different. A few times I went on dates, the guys did NOT look like their photos, so it was awkward to expect a curly blond guy and meet a bald man for a first date. Already we’re not being honest here…
And I’m saying I’m not the most pickest of girls, but I do know what I want. Not everyone knows what they want, so when it comes to online dating, knowing what you want will help big time.
You have to look at online dating like a numbers game, or winning the lottery. Sometimes, it’ll just work out, and you’ll be the right match, and sometimes you’ll get a dud. If your date is offensive or rude, don’t keep seeing them. Don’t get mad at someone if they don’t like you the same way. Although my advice to men dating women online, is to take things slow, don’t rush a date or the relationship if you really want to see a future with the girl. Even though some romance is replaced with a profile, make sure to suprise your date, do something small and romantic, to make the date memorable.
Here’s some final advice to sum things up.
- Don’t take things too personally if a date doesn’t work out.
- Try different dating websites to see what works for you.
- Even though online dating is a numbers game, do be thoughtful to your dates and in your messages.
- Be as honest as possible: use current photos in your profile, don’t make up your profile.
- Don’t say too much in your profile, leave some mystery for the date!
- Paying for online dating doesn’t always mean a better experience.
- Don’t give up on trying to meet someone in real life, use online dating as an additional supplement to your real life.
- Do try to see the person from online in person as soon as you can. Don’t rush the girl, but remember that online or over the phone chemistry is vastly different from in person chemistry.
What is your experience with online dating? Any questions for the next post?